Source: Daily Telegraph

The Republican candidate to become the next American president, Mitt Romney, will be heading to the London Olympics to watch the opening ceremony – and he has a special interest in the Games now, after his wife’s horse earned a berth on the US dressage team.

Jan Ebeling, Ann Romney’s riding tutor, and his horse Rafalca, which she co-owns qualified for next month’s Olympics on Saturday.

The 53-year-old Ebeling has been close to Games selection a decade, but his first Olympics will be in London after a third-place finish at the United States Equestrian Team Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, Florida.

While Romney was continuing his campaign to defeat President Barack Obama on a bus tour of swing states, his wife watched the dressage action from a VIP tent as Ebeling managed to impress in his run with Rafalca.

“I only looked at the scoreboard one time, and it looked good, and I thought, don’t look again,” Ebeling, who entered the four-day competition ranked ninth in the United States, said.

Twitter: Ann Romney – It’s great to be part of the Olympics again. We are so proud of Jan and Team USA. Now let’s bring home the gold! http://t.co/wArZ7mAs

Ann Romney has proved a deep-pocketed dressage patron, and thanks to her husband being in the public eye, she has single-handedly gained the sport more attention than it has ever received in America, in spite of celebrating its centenary in the Olympics.

Both Romneys have said that they will be attending the opening ceremony, and perhaps they will now find a way to buy some dressage tickets, too.

“The image of Romney as a privileged princeling ends today, because now Mitt is just your average blue-collar fan of dressage,” comedian Stephen Colbert was quoted as saying in The New York Times.